Australia – Review of 2016 Floods in Tasmania Released

The Government in Tasmania has released the Report of the Independent Review into the Tasmanian Floods of June and July 2016.

Floods in Huonville, Tasmania, July 2016. Photo: Tasmania SES

Tasmania Premier, Will Hodgman, said “Last year’s floods devastated large parts of Tasmania, particularly the north, tragically taking three lives, damaging houses, farmland and infrastructure, and costing more than $180 million.

“It was important that we had a thorough and independent analysis of the response by all levels of Government, which is why we commissioned respected former Auditor-General Mike Blake to prepare this report.

“Overall, Mr Blake has found that the response of all levels of government, emergency services and the community to the floods was generally robust; however, with the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the overall response could be improved for future events in some areas.

“Mr Blake also finds that there was a good focus on recovery.”

Key findings and conclusions of the report included:

  • Hydro cloud seeding had “no impact on precipitation”, with this finding having a “solid scientific basis”;
  • The State Government should undertake a comprehensive assessment of flood mapping in Tasmania;
  • The SES align their community education programs, sharing resources with the Tasmanian Fire Service;
  • The Government should establish a central Flood Policy Unit;
  • The Department of Premier and Cabinet should become the standing Recovery Management Authority;
  • While it “may be” that State and Local Government under-invests in flood mitigation, a lot more work is required to understand whether measures such as additional flood levees are appropriate;
  • The response to the Huonville Floods in July was an example of “effective planning, preparation and collaboration that other flood management authorities should learn from.”

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Rene Hidding said:

“I would like again to personally thank all emergency services personnel, volunteers, government agencies and GBEs for their roles during last year’s floods.

“While this period in the State’s history was tragic and devastating, it was also a fine example of the people of Tasmania pulling together when they had to.”

Minister Hidding added that the report had a total of 24 recommendations, which the Government will now carefully consider before responding.

The Government has also released the Final Report of the Tasmanian Floods Recovery Taskforce.

Mr Blake’s report is available at www.dpac.tas.gov.au/government_flood_review

The Flood Recovery Taskforce Report is available at alert.tas.gov.au/floodrecovery

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 15, 2016
Event
Huonville, Tasmania, Australia, July 2016
Date
July 14 to July 15, 2016
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Snow melt
The Huon River overflowed after heavy rain and snowmelt in catchment areas.

Locations

Huonville

Affected Areas

Magnitude

River level
4.30 metres
Huon River, Huonville, Tasmania - July 15 to July 15, 2016
Rainfall level
102 mm in 24 hours
Huon Catchment - July 14 to July 15, 2016

Damages

Evacuated
20 people
Huonville - July 14 to July 15, 2016
Buildings damaged
30 buildings
Huonville - July 14 to July 15, 2016

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 13, 2016
Event
South East Australia, June 2016
Date
June 4 to June 8, 2016
Type
Coastal flood, Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Storms that began on 04 June resulted in strong winds, high surf and heavy rain across south east Australia. 4 people died in floods in Tasmania. Two victims died in New South Wales, and one other victim in Canberra, ACT. The storms caused some coastal erosion and flooding in NSW.

Locations

A - Invermay
B - Latrobe
C - Ouse

Magnitude

Rainfall level
165 mm in 24 hours
Turramurra, New South Wales
Rainfall level
193 mm in 24 hours
Mount Victoria, Tasmania

Damages

Fatalities
4 people
Tasmania
Fatalities
2 people
New South Wales
Fatalities
1 person
Australian Capital Territory